Attendance, performance and the acquisition of early literacy skills: A Comparison of Indigenous and non-Indigenous school children

John Ehrich, Jennifer Wolgemuth, Janet Helmer, Georges Oteng, Tess Lea, Claire Bartlett, Heather Smith, Susan Emmett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    As part of an evaluation of a web-based early literacy intervention, ABRACADABRA, a small exploratory study was conducted over one term in three primary schools in the Northern Territory. Of particular concern was the relationship between attendance and the acquisition of early literacy skills of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Using the GRADE literacy assessment, it was found that students made significant gains in a number of early literacy skills (e.g. phonological awareness skills and vocabulary processing). Classroom attendance was strongly and positively correlated with the acquisition of phonological awareness skills and early literacy skills (e.g. letter recognition, word identification processing). Indigenous children attended class significantly less frequently than non-Indigenous children and performed significantly worse overall, particularly with regard to phonological processing tasks. In light of these findings, it is suggested irregular attendance contributed to the Indigenous students lowered literacy acquisition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-19
    Number of pages19
    JournalAustralian Journal of Learning Difficulties
    Volume15
    Issue number2
    Early online date26 Mar 2010
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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